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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Palestinians protesting against US embassy’s inauguration in Jerusalem reigns supreme on the airwaves

The killing of 55 Palestinians yesterday during protests against the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem was the biggest story on the airwaves last night as the talking heads took turns to express their sadness and outrage. We have more details on the story in Speed Round, below.

Palestinian hospitals were scrambling to keep up with the influx of wounded citizens, leading officials to contact Egyptian authorities to allow for injured citizens to cross the Rafah border and receive medical attention at Egyptian hospitals, Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al Qodra told Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi (watch, runtime: 5:07). Ambulances have been stationed at the border to transport the wounded passing into Egypt to the nearest hospitals in North Sinai, all of which are on high alert and have been fully equipped to meet the patients’ needs, Egypt’s Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said (watch, runtime: 2:43).

Kol Youm’s Amr Adib made it a point to express his frustration with Arab countries’ lukewarm stance on the Palestinian cause. He also reiterated that Palestinians are fully within their rights when protesting and should not be at risk of being killed by Israeli soldiers when doing so (watch, runtime: 8:00). The issue was also tackled on Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 9:23) and Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 17:12).

The Planning Ministry has signed off on a new system for government employees’ wages, which is meant to declutter the way wages are broken down, Central Organization for Management and Administration head Saleh El Sheikh told Lamees. He explained that the previous wage system — which included a base salary and about a dozen categories for supplementary wages and bonuses — resulted in disparities between employees of the same seniority, and that the new system should introduce more equality. He stressed that the new system does not entail a wage increase, but that it puts in place a clear framework for future salary raises (watch, runtime: 7:52). He was not clear if this would mean amendments to the Civil Service Act were coming.

With Ramadan just around the corner, food prices during the holy month was a necessary topic of discussion for Lamees, who sat down with Food Industries Holding Company head Alaa Fahmy, Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Secretary General Alaa Ezz, and MP Mohamed El Zeni (watch, runtime: 36:32). Fahmy gave Lamees the lowdown on the Ahlan Ramadan supermarket expo, as well as the company’s plans to dispatch vehicles to bring food products to low-income neighborhoods that might not have access to retail outlets (watch, runtime: 2:14).

Banks should allow metro commuters to pay for membership cards in instalments to help alleviate the financial burden of the ticket price hikes, Kol Youm’s Amr Adib said. He repeated the previous two nights’ calls for frequent metro users to rely on a membership as a way to cut down costs, saying that the memberships have been in high demand (watch, runtime: 8:19).

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